Ubisoft Says Complex Gameplay "Holds Back" Splinter Cell

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When I first read the headline I didn't see the word "complex" and immediately thought: "What? So they're going to try and take the Hideo Kojima route?"

LOL well they may as well go that route with their current trajectory

Erm... okay then...

how does Ubisoft account for Dishonored's success then?

Bioware-style SPACE MAGIC?

So I am unsure I was reading this correctly I saw:

Andy Chalk:
Buy the dishonored DLC, give Klei money for more Mark of the ninja, and replay Thief the metal age.

Not sure why everyone is so upset these are all good games.

I hope the

Andy Chalk:

mechanics are not core to the game or it will be hard for the fans to really enjoy it. I wish you Splinter cell fans luck, well as much as I am willing to spare without hurting the new Thief's chances.

Ok... [deep breath]... it is optional... and I'm SURE the "hardcore" original style won't suffer as a result of the shift in development focus... and level design... and mechanics... and AI programming...

[deep, quick breaths]

Why wouldn't we be happy to hear that yet another franchise is being homogenized?

Everyone, from now on, as a favor to me... think hard about the games you buy. It effects what will be produced later

You know Jade, you are a pretty girl and a character from a game I liked was named after you, so I'm going to try and refrain from loud swearing.

That said, this sort of reasoning would have worked before you released Conviction. I want to like Blacklist, I really do. It's just that everything I've seen from the game so far convinces me that you've learned nothing from the previous game's failure. You've removed even more of what was great about the series and expanded on mechanics that were kind of crap in the first place. Mark and execute was working against the stealth nature of the game? Oh, I know! let's upgrade the mechanic so it can now be used while running! That totally makes sense in a stealth-based game! And let's make the game into a shooter virtually indistinguishable from what you did to Ghost Recon! Oh yes, I've played that game. I had to review it. I had to take all kinds of crap from my editor because he thought I was too harsh with it.

You know, I'm not against change. I can dig it if a developer decides for a new direction for their series and changes things around a bit. I'm all for it if they decide to try new things and experiment. Hell, I was looking forward to Conviction. But when I can see that you're building on a failed experiment, that the changes you're making serve to do nothing but to make a game more similar to what's selling at the moment, to turn every piece of unique IP in an under-served genre into another Call of Duty, well I'm going to call bullshit on that.

You bunch of french fucks.

Yeah, making a game for those who don't want to play our games is an excellent idea.

Ya know, after the first trailer for blacklist, I was going to pick it up due to being a big time Splinter Cell fan and to see just how big of a failure it was. However, if the developers are going to insult me, they can go fuck themselves. Raymond is officially on my blacklist along with maximum bellend maxime béland.

Do you suppose they were watching when EA decided to "broaden Dead Space 3's appeal" and how well it worked for them?

Wasn't that why easy mode was invented or is that not enough any more? You know what why don't they just make the game play itself for you? Just have the player press a button to start the game, set how long you like to play for and what achievements you'd like to unlock on this play-through. Then sit back on enjoy the experience without having to worry about getting your head flustered with all this complex gameplay. /sarcasm

In all seriousness, that is just stupid, really really really stupid reasoning, even for Ubisoft. If people don't want to stealth about and want to be more direct with their conflict resolutions then why the hell would they buy a Splinter Cell game? It would be like me wanting to play Battlefield and not actually kill anyone.

I think the Metal Gear franchise proves this theory wrong. Each game adds new complex mechanics and even while the series gains new, more casual fans, it never waivers in its hardcore stealth gameplay. The player always has different routes and playstyles to choose from, while AI typically advances and gains new tactics each game.

Either way, I'd argue that marketing has a lot more to do with capturing the mass market over simplifying gameplay.

Just another nail in the coffin for me playing Tom Clancy games, as far as I'm concerned.

I used to buy them for their extra chunky pasta sauce, but now it's all the same as the makers look to create the perfect pasta sauce for everyone - not too runny, not too zesty, not too chunky, not too tomato-ee. Thing is, that's not what I want. I want extra chunky pasta sauce, so there's a simple solution to this: I won't buy the game. At all. Simple as that.

Not everyone has the same tastes, and there is no way to successfully appeal to them all with one "perfect" product; so split up your finances and make different games for different tastes.

"There is no perfect game, only perfect GAMES."

Bonus points for my use of Jimquisition references? :P

A game being difficult makes it not sell well?

These two gentlemen would like to have a word.



Shit like this makes me wonder why these big publishers even bother with PR department seeing as they are completely incompetent at fucking PR!.

I get simplifying things such as controls by making them more intuitive instead of needlessly contrived, but shit like this just makes everyone roll their eyes. The only people who will be aware of this piece of news are the hardcore audience that upon seeing this won't buy the game, netting Ubisoft a big minus in terms of both publicity and copies sold. There is no benefit from pulling off shit like this.

Eh, sounds like some simple PR to me. It's well-known by now that as the Splinter Cell franchise has been going on longer, it's been becoming more and more about "play how you want", and the more it's continued to do that, the less relevant it's really been in the industry.

I always like Jimquisition, but I would never really use it as a reference, personally. But his episode today really hit the nail on the head, in that the more developers homogenize games to be accessible for everyone and basically be a sheep in the herd, the more likely it is that one huge percentage of gamers are left waiting for something to satisfy their desire.

A shame, because Chaos Theory was really great.

Not to sound like an apologist, but I think I get where Raymond is coming from.

See, the Souls games have their own markets. There *is* an established audience for super-hard or somewhat challenging experiences. I don't see this story as any kind of judgment of value made for or against that market. All Raymond is saying is that there's *also* a segment of gamers that doesn't really want to put up with a steep challenge. Like me, for instance.

Chaos Theory gets a bit of a bad rep because it was easier than the previous two games. The first title in the franchise was nigh unplayable for me, way back when, as there was literally no leeway given for any level of visibility or botched attempts at stealth. You got good at the game and you got good fast - or you gave up and played something that at least delivered on the "fun" department. Chaos Theory came along and honestly? It was a blast, as far as I can remember. I had fun because I could afford to mess up three times per level, and that didn't preclude me from wanting to replay through one section over and over until I'd hundred-percent it in one shot.

Earlier, I remember playing System Shock 2 and Thief: The Dark Project. SS2's pseudo-stealth was pretty handy, in that the enemies were pretty bad at detection. Thief, though? I busted my head against the wall for hours, trying to pass the third level. Absolutely no fun there. Of course, that's entirely subjective.

Considering that this is, yes, subjective - then why the hate for a potentially lower entry gate for a single segment of the player base? I think the news report makes it clear that you can still try to Garrett your way through the entire game if you so choose, and to play in as classic and recognizable a Sam Fisher as possible. Calling in air strikes, action-movie Mark & Execute moments? If they're optional, who honestly cares?

I just don't get the community, sometimes. You're given assurances that the hardcore segment hasn't been forgotten, but hear that room has been made for less skilled or impatient players. What's the first reaction most of us have? We jump to the hills and cry foul, absolutely convinced that the entire industry is turning into a morass of casuals, dudebros and douchecanoes.

Newsflash - it isn't. It's turning mainstream, which is something else entirely. We've had Dishonored to remember that to us, and there's also XCOM: Enemy Unknown's Classic Ironman (or Impossible Ironman). Hard experiences are and have always been niche.

So please, before caterwauling about how the industry no longer caters for you lovers of incredihard experiences, take a stroll through your own backlog. More to the point, ask yourself if every genre and game dev is deserving of and particularly fitting for excessively challenging experiences.

Some studios nail these out of the ballpark. Thanks, From Software!

Others cater to simpler stuff that's ultimately there to drive player enjoyment. BioWare, for instance, or Bethesda.

That somehow works to the DETRIMENT of the medium?!

I don't even. Seriously.

Wait, do they think Conviction was complex? It was the only Splinter Cell I played,(on that note,where should a newbie to stealth games start? I really do want to see what the games before conviction were like)and it still felt off to me.It felt like an action game with the option to stealth,but not paticularly needed.Hell I remember a part where you had to hold off enemies coming from an elevator,and brute forcing it with explosives and loud guns was not a problem.How is that complex?


Andy Chalk:
Ubisoft Toronto boss Jade Raymond says the inherent difficulty of hardcore stealth has kept Splinter Cell from the big-time, so Blacklist will simplify things for gamers who don't like to think too much.

I know I certainly won't give this game a second thought

It really makes you wonder where these boneheads get such stupid ideas from. "Durr we're making a nice profit off a niche title and the fans are happy to keep buying the newest game because it gives them what they want, but neah lets dumb it down into just another action game where theres so much competition even the best have issues making a profit and try to market it to people who have no interest in this game series and probably wont look at it due to what the IP is known for. Yeah that's a smart move durrrr". Dumbasses, pure and utter idiots is all they are.

It sounds like the game is going to play itself.

The Splinter Cell games haven't been good since Chaos Theory. I didn't think anything would have changed with this new title.

I feel the same way. Double Agent had a nice concept, but a very poor and buggy execution, and I didn't even bother with Conviction because they over-simplified it.

"Hey James! Tell the farmers that fertilizer is going to be cheap this year! A Ubisoft executive just keeps spewing crap!"
captcha: more chocolate
It's not chocolate captcha. What are y - OH GOD DON'T EAT THAT

Aha... AHAHAHAHAHA! Oh dear god, Splinter Cell is too complicated...

Did NO ONE play Convinction?! That was a FINE balance of stealth and action combat! The stealth could have been stronger but it wasn't significantly nerfed and the game at least felt like it was designed more with the intent of players playing the way they wanted, either stealth heavy or action based and, for the most part, it worked! People who went all run and gun got to do that and people who wanted to be all stealthy got to do that too. Granted, there WERE moments of action combat being forced into the face of the player, it was still pretty solid.

Just... Fucking hell, take what had been done in Conviction, improve upon it and add more content! Stop overhauling the game and trying to make every god damn game sell to everyone! I'm normally not one to do this but fuck, the Jimquisition this week could not have been more spot on! Games don't have to appeal to every single fucking player out there! THIS IS WHY WE HAVE DIFFERENT GAME GENRES!

This is about spinning. The meaning was fine, but if you even mention the words 'without thinking' people like our Escapist contributor are going to turn it into sensationalist headlines like this. You've got to be smarter than you need to be in a normal conversation when you talk to the press

Andy Chalk:

"You can climb up, do 3D navigation and jump over things without thinking too much or pressing buttons," Raytmond said. "Sam does it automatically. The Killing in Motion, being able to Mark and Execute while moving through the map, makes it much more accessible to more of an action gamer."

So what does that leave? Is it seriously just pulling the trigger while Same plays the game on rails or am I reading this wrong?

As for complexitiy, I really liked Conviction as an Assassination game (I consider that a sub-genre of stealth), but it was most definitely not complex. If anything, I occasionally wished I had more options besides just kill everything to progress. I'm still interested in Blacklist, but I'll wait for reviews. If I do get it, I'll have to try this mode for curiositys sake.

Rogue 09:
I'm sure everybody remembers the good ol' days of the NES when games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Adventure Island where games were nearly impossible and you had to try over and over again to get through them? And it was fun?

You know, there's a reason that first TMNT game is so hated.

I'd hardly accuse Conviction of having 'complex' gameplay.

Oh, you don't like waiting around and watching enemy movements to formulate your action plan for this level? Why not just run through it and insta kill anyone not looking directly at you? Not good enough, okay have some room clearing mark and headshot abilities to go along with that.

..... I miss Pandora Tomorrow.

Well lets be honest we all know this is how AAA devs think, its nice to hear them tell the truth. If you find what he says so bad don't buy the game and burn 60$ on it. You wont restrain yourself though will you? Half of you will go out and buy it anyway because you want some quick entertainment. The guy literally tells you they don't give a shit about their established fans but that wont stop anybody. Vote with your wallet or its as much your fault as theirs.

Edit: Im not even a SC fan but hearing constant crying from fans of a series complaining about how much of a betrayal the latest installment is starts to get real old. Especially people who pre-ordered said latest installment without checking reviews or footage. Not only did they fund the perceived treachery in the first place they then complain on forums. Take action, avoid trickery and think.

"Our focus testers thought that the Splinter Cell franchise was too hard. Obviously, those focus testers represent the whole gaming audience. If we make it easier, we'll sell more! Let's not stick with a smaller, more direct consumer base and develop for them because that only sells one million copies! We want 10 million! Like CoD! We don't even want to try tapping into an unexpected market!"

I don't know about you guys, but I take risks and make the world mine. Because history favors the risk-takers and forgets the timid. Here's a quote from some guy that fits this pretty well:

"Most men either compromise or drop their greatest talents and start running after, what they perceive to be, a more reasonable success, and somewhere in between they end up with a discontented settlement. Safety is indeed stability, but it is not progression."

If I remember, Blacklist is supposed to have a perfectionist mode which essentially plays like the older splinter cell games, forcing you to be slow and methodical.

Here it is, down near the bottom:

Splinter Cell's popularity is held back by its complexity, says Blacklist studio head

"So guys, you know that game we have that appeals to a certain subset of people? Let's change it to a mainstream action game so the original fans won't buy it and so we can compete and lose to the big mainstream action games."

Sounds like a plan, Stan.

gif is relevant!


and as usual when something bad happens in gaming, i blame consoles. <.<

Whilst I'm not a fan of the series, isn't this the train of thought that plagues games like Deus Ex Human: Revolution, Dishonored and Metal Gear Rising. Why should I go the hard way when it is easier to just go mental with rocket launchers?

It makes Mark of the Ninja look like a real oddity now days, a stealth game where when you are spotted, you're fucked.

It's a rare moment a publisher flat out admits it's dumbing down its game to pander to the lowest common denominator.
Says an awful lot about what they think of gamers.

On the bright side this ought to save Ubisoft a buck or two in development: since it sounds like they aren't going to put any more thought into their game design.

If developers keep doing this, making their games appeal to such a broad audience, they lose all their talking points and become forgettable.

Think of the hardest games possible, these games STILL get talked about and played. Dumbing your game down for the masses will just mean people forget it faster.

Well now I'm definatlly not buying this game.

Besides I'm broke thanks to kickstarter, at least those devs will at least listen to gamers like me and not chase after every moron who can suck on a controller.

is the game industry trying to kill itself? there has been a long, LOOOONG string of devs and publishers making comments that really serve no purpose other than invoking the wrath of the internet's legion of gamers. are they f**king with us? do they honestly think just "saying" theyre failing business tactics are right will convince the world to accept them?

you dont make comments concerning shareholders to the public youre trying to sell to. why on earth would you think gamers should need to hear this from you? "from a business standpoint, dumbass gameplay is good" well no f**king shit, sherlock, we all know and revile that fact, you should be trying to downplay and distract us from that, not presenting it to the world then offering no reason for why its good for anything but your wallet. this industry just needs to crash and burn again, clearly the old leadership has gone insane. i cant even decipher this quote.... what the f**k is its purpose?! who and how and what and why did anyone anywhere think it was a good idea to announce this to the public? your already alienated consumer base hates you more and a once decent stealth series blends deeper into the sea of mediocrity and blandness, indistinct from a hundred other games just like it. lose-lose, congratulations.

April Fools! *Checks date.* Oh. Didn't Conviction sell way less than other Splinter Cell games for precisely this reason? I could be wrong, but it seems like they don't really agree with why I ever liked this series to begin with. It's kind of like what happened with Assassin's Creed. Oh well. I can always go back and play the old games. I haven't bought one of these since Pandora Tomorrow anyways, when it seemed like they got all multiplayer centric.

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